Tuesday, January 25, 2011

LA County Holiday Half Marathon

This is a very belated race report but who says it can't be Christmas in January?

I am a sucker for the holidays. When I heard there was a holiday-themed half marathon with a super cool medal I was totally excited. I was supposed to get 12 miles in that day anyhow and figured 13.1 with a medal at the end would be much more enjoyable. I got Naomi to agree to come down to the LA area with me which made it a fun trip, too.

I had done a hard-effort 16 miler on Friday so was planning on cruising easy during the race on Sunday. I thought I might cruise in the mid to high-10:00's for pace. The race seemed pretty hilly (course profile looked like an EKG) so I wasn't sure how that would play out.

We didn't fly down to LA until Saturday afternoon so we got to the race early to pick up our bibs on Sunday morning (a big Thanks! to the race for having race morning pick-up). The one cool thing about going early Sunday morning was that there were no lines and the race merchandise was 50% off. So I snagged a cute half-zip which came in very handy during my rainy runs the rest of the month of December. Since the expo was open early and close to the start, we got to stay warm inside the building and got to use real bathrooms, too. Woot!

Start line

Within the first mile of the race I could feel that it was going to be a hot day. Le sigh.

We ran around a little race track of some sort

Fall colors in southern California. Who knew?

Hello, Sun.

A great deal of the race wound around a lake. Lots of little rolling hills but very pretty views.

I think a good portion of the race was on a paved bike path. I didn't need them, but this had the added advantage of lots of real restrooms along the way.

Okay, so some of the hills weren't that little. But it was certainly no Big Sur and this San Franciscan had no problem motoring up the hills.

More pretty lake views

Mountain views

I felt really good the entire race. My pace was faster than I had expected while still keeping it easy. My knee also cooperated (this was the 2nd week after I started seeing the chiropractor) so I was really happy about that. There were a few out-and-back portions and I was happy to see Maritza and her boyfriend out on the course (I don't think they saw me on the run but we got to meet up pre- and post-race).

I finished in 2:13 which I was pleased with for an easy-paced warm half. This race was at the end of the week when my legs clicked into maybe-we-can-really-PR-the-next-marathon mode and I could tell I was at a good place in my conditioning.

I had a fun holiday outfit (red plaid skirt, green tank, and reindeer antlers) and I got a lot of fun cheers from people. There were lots of people dressed in holiday attire including a couple dressed up as Mr. & Mrs. Claus. How the guy ran in the long sleeve/long pant outfit is beyond me.

Now onto the fun swag:

What a cute goodie bag!


I now really appreciate medals which have high quality ribbons like this.

And the most awesome thing: A tech shirt in a gender specific cut that fits!! And if you only knew the lengths the race staff went to in order for me to have this puppy, you'd be impressed. Chic Runner is a saint!

I had lots of fun at the race and highly recommend it. I'm a warm weather weenie, but I'd bet lots of people would appreciate a warmer race in December. I guess that is one of those "Lucky you live California" things (okay, so the saying is really, "Lucky you live Hawaii," but bear with me, here).

If they change the medal design to some other fun holiday-themed bauble next year, I may be pursuaded to run this one again.


bunnygirl said...

I love the snowflake medal, although Mario seems a little less enthusiastic.

the dawn said...

that sounds like such a great race! and i've never seen such a great race shirt. amazing!

Kate said...

Well it is very obvious why Mario don't look very interested with the marathon. He HATES the CROWD am I right Mario (lol)? This is one of the few cases that bunnies prefer to stay in their rabbit hutch.

The Fab Furs said...

Mario wants to know what happened to the "Real Fruit Bites" in the stocking. Supposedly they were dried fruit coated in yogurt and sprinkled with toasted oats--obviously a treat meant for bunnies. Great looking medal and shirt, too!

Nicole said...

Such a cute medal! I love all the swag! woooott!

Marlene said...

Congrats!! Love the bling and shirt - woohoo that it actually fits!!

Mica said...

I'm so amused that the medal is a winter-themed snowflake, and the race was warm-ish.

When you say "warm-weather weenie", do you mean that you are bad at running in warm temperatures? If so, I definitely am too!

cliff said...

nice gender specific, v-neck, holiday, tech shirt! what were the lengths they had to go to? i'm curious!

you can sharpen the medal and make it into one of those ninja throwing stars!

Adam said...

I LOVE those medals - and the shirt. You're right, chic runner did her self proud. Great work!